by Drew Christiansen in America Magazine
Anticipation of a new administration in Washington prompts questions about the future course of U.S.-Vatican relations. There is much on which a Biden administration and the Holy See can collaborate. President-elect Joe Biden and Pope Francis share many policy concerns, above all climate change, where Mr. Biden has pledged to re-join the Paris Climate Covenant.
The Holy Father’s recent encyclical “Fratelli Tutti” addresses the need for solidarity in a post-pandemic world to relieve poverty and correct accelerating inequality. In announcing his new economic team, the president-elect has likewise affirmed his intent to reduce economic inequality and empower workers, a perennial concern of Catholic social teaching.
On numerous occasions, the pope has demonstrated his concern for refugees and migrants; and Mr. Biden has expressed his opposition to the Trump administration’s harsh, even cruel, treatment of Central American refugees at the U.S.-Mexico border and his desire to address the backlog of admissions and to regularize the asylum process.
The quality of the potential collaboration between the Holy See and the Biden administration will depend on the president-elect’s choice of ambassador and the trust the president and the secretary of state have in the appointee. The incumbent, Ambassador Calista Gingrich, was clearly a political appointee often overshadowed by her outspoken husband, former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich…